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5 Juicy Health Benefits of Eating Pears


by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

A pear may not be the most nutritious fruit out there, but it is pearfect in its own way (ok, I promise no more cheesy play on words in this article).

While the saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” it’s time to shine a light on another fruit: the pear.

Often overlooked in favor of apples, pears offer impressive health benefits that deserve recognition. Pears are not just a tasty treat; they are packed with essential nutrients that offer a range of health benefits.

From aiding digestion and reducing blood pressure to enhancing heart health and boosting cognitive function, pears have a lot to offer in terms of wellness.

In this article, we will dive deeper and learn more about the health benefits of this delicious and nutritious fruit.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before starting any exercise program, making changes to your nutrition plan, or adding any supplements to your current regimen.

The Nutrition Value of Pears

Pears are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients. Below is the nutritional breakdown for one medium-sized pear according to the USDA:

  • Calories: 101
  • Protein: 1g
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Magnesium: 12.5mg
  • Potassium: 206mg
  • Vitamin C: 8mg

With a substantial amount of fiber, pears help keep you feeling full and support heart and gut health.

Additionally, they are low in calories and contain no added sugar. For a versatile and balanced snack, consider pairing your pear with protein sources like cheese or nuts.

The Health Benefits of Pears

Below are some of the notable health benefits of pears:

1.     Good for digestion

With 6g of fiber, pears offer a higher fiber content compared to a 1-cup serving of kale. Consuming sufficient fiber is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, a high-fiber diet offers digestive benefits by softening and bulking stool, facilitating easier bowel movements. Pears provide over 20% of the daily recommended fiber intake, as per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

Moreover, pears contain pectin, a soluble fiber type linked to various benefits, such as improved gut health and immune function.

Scientific studies have shown that pectin has been associated with alleviating constipation.

In a previous 4-week study involving 80 adults with constipation, the intake of 24g of pectin daily resulted in constipation relief and elevated levels of beneficial gut bacteria, providing further evidence of the health benefits of pears.

2.     It may reduce the risk of diabetes

According to a meta-analysis, which involved over 200,000 participants, regular consumption of apples and pears was associated with an 18% decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Surprisingly, even consuming just one serving of these fruits per week correlated with a 3% reduction in diabetes risk. One possible explanation for this is the presence of flavonoids in pears, which are antioxidants known for their health benefits.

Another meta-analysis discovered a similar trend, indicating that a higher intake of flavonoids is linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Moreover, the fiber content in pears plays a significant role in managing blood sugar levels, despite their carbohydrate content. Although pears contain carbohydrates, their fiber content helps reduce blood sugar spikes.

Individuals with diabetes should pair pears with a source of protein to further stabilize blood sugar levels, but the inherent fiber in pears contributes to this effect as well.

3.     It reduces cardiovascular disease risks

The antioxidants found in pears, including those in both the fruit and its peel, play a crucial role in potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.

Some research indicates that specific antioxidants present in pears can effectively decrease inflammation, reduce stiffness in heart tissue, increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (often referred to as “good” cholesterol), and lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

Also, a separate study conducted on adults with metabolic syndrome, a collection of symptoms associated with increased risk of heart disease, revealed promising results. Participants who consumed two pears daily for three months experienced significant improvements in heart disease risk factors such as reduced waist circumference and lower blood pressure.

4.     It fights free radicals

Pears are full of antioxidants, which play a crucial role in fighting the harmful effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that may lead to cancer when produced excessively by the body during food metabolism.

Essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper present in pears contribute to shielding the body’s cells from the damage inflicted by free radicals as they form.

5.     It may help with weight management

Pears have low-calorie content while being rich in fiber and water, which means you will have a lasting feeling of fullness.

A study comparing the impact of having fruits like apples or pears instead of oats in the diet showed that fruit consumption led to decreased energy intake and body weight over an extended period.

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